We talk to Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp about why Vodafone is bringing home broadband to its customers, and what you can expect from the new service...
Seen the news? We recently lifted the lid on Vodafone Broadband – our brand new home broadband offering that can bring super speeds to your home, and bring a new level of Wi-Fi control to your pocket.
To find out more about the thinking behind Vodafone Broadband, and what it means for you, we’ve managed to grab some time with our CEO, Jeroen Hoencamp. And as Jeroen explains, Vodafone Broadband is much more than just broadband: it’s the next big step in the Vodafone story, and a sign of great things to come…
The customer comes first
“Everything we want to do at Vodafone is led by customer demand,” says Jeroen. “Research shows that more and more customers who have mobile now expect their provider to offer fixed services as well, or vice versa. We’ve been waiting for the right moment, and now we’re at a tipping point where customers do really expect us to offer fixed.”
We’ve got a post full of everything you need to know about Vodafone Broadband and what makes it great right here, but what does Jeroen think makes our service stand out?
“There isn’t just one big unique selling point here – it’s lots of things together.”
“There isn’t just one big unique selling point here – it’s lots of things together. We have a great fixed fibre network which already passes nearly 20 million UK premises as a result of buying Cable & Wireless, so we have nationwide coverage similar to if not identical to BT. That lets us offer really good speeds with no data limits. Our Broadband is also really great value and comes with a one of the best routers available today.
And I think one of the biggest things is the Connect companion app. It comes with features like Boost and Guest Wi-Fi, and great ease-of-use for setting up or changing passwords. I was using it myself this weekend,” he adds, “and it’s incredibly powerful. It’s really easy to focus your bandwidth on specific devices, or limit usage. Or – as I did last night – you can turn off the Wi-Fi for five minutes to make sure the kids go to bed!
“So it’s a combination of things: it’s a great quality product with really attractive pricing for our customers, along with dedicated customer care from the people in our new call centre in Glasgow. We also have 500 retail stores which will be up and running with the ability to sell and support Vodafone Broadband. The combination of this gives me the confidence that Broadband is going to be a really good broadband experience for our customers.”
So with all that being included, does Jeroen think that there’s a lot lacking in current broadband offerings?
“We’re not targeting any particular competitor with this,” he explains, “but if you do a comparison, you’ll see that some broadband providers have a strong proposition but are expensive, while some have a low price but have restrictions. Vodafone Broadband is a really strong customer offering overall. That said, the one thing we do have which really no one else out there has is the companion app. It shows that we’re taking a mobile-first view on this: we believe that the world is only going to be more and more mobile-centric, so we’ve made sure that the ease of use in setting your connection up and changing its settings – all possible via the app – is seamless.”
And on top of all that, Jeroen is keen to state the importance of making switching from one broadband provider to Vodafone as easy as possible:
“You contact us, then we’ll go away and sort everything out. It’s super easy…”
“You contact us (having let your existing provider know you are leaving if you need to), then we’ll go away and sort everything out. It’s super easy, because we know that if you take away the hassle of switching, you take away one of the very few barriers there are for customers to move suppliers.
“Pretty much every customer we get for Broadband will be switching from another major competitor – it’s something that will affect them all, so it’s absolutely imperative that we get that right.”
And when you do switch, you’ll end up with a great set of benefits:
“You’ll end up with one bill,” says Jeroen, “and one place to call if you need to. If you go to a store and you’re already a Vodafone customer, we can just add on Broadband really easily. We’ve got trained people to be able to help you over mobile, fixed and more in the future…”
A look into the future of Vodafone
So what is coming in the future? Jeroen tells us that offering home broadband is a big step in the direction we want to continue travelling:
“This is clearly us entering a new era in the consumer space.”
“This is clearly us entering a new era in the consumer space,” he says. “In the business world, we’ve offered fixed line services for a few years. But in order to go forward you’ve got to look back sometimes, and in that light, buying Cable & Wireless was really the starting point of all this – it gave us our own fibre network.
“We truly already are a converged player for enterprise, and now’s the time to build out the same thing for our consumer customers.
“We want to do so organically. We made a conscious decision to do large enterprise first. Vodafone Broadband is step two, and later in this financial year we will launch TV. I can’t say much about that at the moment, but it will be similar to what we’re doing with home broadband in that it will be different from what’s out there – it will have several points of differentiation. And we will focus on making it a great service, because people engage with their TVs so much every day.”
But whatever happens, we’ll be using the same approach as we have for Vodafone Broadband and all our mobile agreements.
“We’ll go into lots more detail on our TV service soon,” says Jeroen in closing, “but with anything we do the starting point is always the same: it needs to be a compelling, competitive, attractive product, focused on our customers, and at a great price.”